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Defining sexuality

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Dotwork, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Dotwork

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    Hi. Im pretty sure that this question has been asked before but I’d like to ask it myself.

    What do others think actually defines your sexuality? What made you aware of your same sex tendencies and how did you come to those conclusions?

    I’m particularly curious from the later in life people. Those who were/are maybe in a heterosexual relationship and have come to realise that they’re not as straight as they always once presumed

    Thanks
     
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  2. quebec

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    Dotwork...OK yes, I am one of the "Later in Life" people and I am in a mixed-orientation marriage. So I guess I count! I'll start with what made me aware but to really answer your question I'll have to give you a time-line:

    1) When I was about 8 years old I realized that I liked watching boys play basketball a lot more than I liked just watching basketball!
    2) By 14-15 I had learned what that meant.
    3) At 17 I started college and I guess I was "out" even though I don't remember any conversation about being homosexual (didn't use "Gay" then). I had multiple hook-ups over the next four years...always with guys.
    4) At 22 I started teaching in public school. I decided to be Heterosexual (didn't use "straight" then). I didn't know/understand that it doesn't work like that. I spent the next 42 years in a progressive state of depression, guilt, shame and self-hate.
    5) At 64 (2014) I came out here on empty closets, finally accepting that I was and always had been gay.

    My lack of understanding when it came to sexuality was devastating to my life. I'm not saying that my life has been terrible because in many ways it has not. But I always knew in the back of my mind that I was pretending to be what I was not. I am not sad that I have been married to a wonderful lady for 39 years, that I have three grown sons who make me very proud, that I have four fantastic grandkids. I had a very successful career with local, state and national recognition. However, the "real" me stayed hidden for a long time. The real me existed from 1968-1972 then he died. He was resurrected in 2014 and he is alive today! I am staying with my wife. We have built a life together and I see no reason now to destroy it. And yes....I am out to her. I won't break my wedding vows....I doubt if I will ever be with another guy. That's ok because what I have is important to me and I have chosen to keep it. We don't have sex anymore...I couldn't bring myself to do it. I am the happiest that I ever been with the possible exception of those few years from 68-72.

    I've probably told you a lot more than you wanted to know, but I felt like an explanation was needed for my comments to make any sense! Hope you have a great week!

    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  3. fvpa01

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    Hi Dotwork,

    I think to others, what defines my sexuality is how I’ve lived. I’m in my mid 40s and I’ve been with women the entire time. That defines me to them as straight. Bzzzt! Wrong! I’m gay! So then what actually defines my sexuality? It’s who I want to be with. Unfortunately that just doesn’t jive with who I’ve actually been getting with. Damn...

    I’ve known of my same sex tendencies since I was a young kid... long before I even knew what gay and straight meant. Once I reached those teen years where hormones take over I knew I was gay. It’d always be the guys I’d imagine in my thoughts. The guys would be the ones I’d check out and strip down in my mind. Never the girls. Never. Fast forward to today and it’s still the guys I stare at as long as humanly possible without getting caught... never the women. It’s the guys I’d take home in my thoughts regardless of it being a woman I was actually taking home physically. It’s always been that way. And with that I somehow still thought it made the most sense to keep pushing that to the back corners of my mind for the next 30+ years and be with women as a straight man. Albeit an sexually-unsatisfied man... but a straight man in the eyes of the world nevertheless. So maybe what defines me the most is I’m a dumbass. Lol

    So with me it was never a question of “am I gay?” I knew I was gay. I just wasn’t happy about it and I wouldn’t admit it to myself. The closest I got was telling myself I was bisexual... but even that was just a clever lie I hoped would fool me. I sickly held onto hope FOR YEARS thinking that maybe enough straight sex would make me straight... that’d I’d somehow forget I was attracted to men and not women. Maybe if people just assumed I was straight it’d make me straight. It didn’t. Then one day I passed by the mirror and said “you’re gay”. Holy shit! I am gay, and I finally admitted it! Then later I came out to parents and a friend.

    All this said though, my gayness won’t define me. I won’t let it. I don’t want to be gay first and foremost and everything else in my life takes the back seat. No way. That’s not how it works in the straight world. I’m a guy. Just a guy. Being happy with whatever that means will define me (to me at least).
     
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  4. TrailDog

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    It's been a long process of moving away from where other people thought I should be to finding a place for what's real in my sexuality. Several things combined to twist my understanding of who I was right out of the gate. My father died when I was 12, big surprise, still hurts. So my mom felt I needed a father figure, went to the Archdiocese of Detroit and got the name and number of an ex-priest in our town. Can you guess why this man was no longer a priest? Right. So just as puberty hit, my dad died, the star of the local sexual offenders' list seduced and molested me -- and then I found Jesus. All in the same year.

    Did I like girls back then? I think I did, or pretty much thought I should. It was What One Does, right? Here's what to do with all that energy. But it didn't work for me and I couldn't be satisfied, and there was the fervid memory of the ex-priest's touch, and experiments with friends. So I don't know, maybe the priestguy turned me, or maybe it all would have been more clear had my life not been so strange and difficult then. In any event, I have to really focus to remember the last sexual fantasy I had about a female. It might have been eighth or ninth grade, but that was it.

    I had a girlfriend in high school, we became intimate after I had graduated -- the last guy in my circle to get laid -- and it barely worked. And the only reason it worked is, because I closed my eyes and thought about men. And all of my successive relationships -- and there weren't many -- worked that way, including a 26-year marriage.

    I got very serious about religion about the time I got married. And the subtext to all that was, I wanted God to fix me so that I liked women. And I prayed, and I fasted, and oh, BOY, did I tithe. For decades, for years and years.

    And then my marriage fell apart, and church stopped making sense, and the one thing that stayed with me, the one unmoving part of my topsy turvy life was that I preferred boys sexually. I initiated a relationship with another woman after the divorce, and that lasted for four years, and I think we had sex 12 times. I just wasn't into it.

    And when that relationship ended....well, I had a little space. No one was watching, no one cared. I was free to do what I wanted to do. And, by golly, I did.

    I have backslidden a little since, am dating a woman, not really seeing anyone else. But at this point, I'm aware that this will be the last. And I will be out, out, out, and I will be the happiest I have ever been.
     
  5. 21zephyr

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    I lived in the rural Midwest where being out was uncommon. Even if I would have been out, not sure where I would have found a willing person... they just didn’t exist.

    At 10 or 11 a group of us stripped in a gravel pit as a dare; both boys and girls. One boy, who was 13, was going through puberty at the time and strutted around naked, I was in love... at least in my mind. He seemed perfect to me. Nothing happened between us, just in my daydreams.

    At 13, I lost my virginity to a girl... it was awful. I did it to prove I was one of the guys and it made me so depressed afterwards. Had a girlfriend my junior and senior year mostly to fit in with my friends. I have spent most of my life trying to convince myself I was straight... what a waste of precious time. Even though I had intimate relationships with girls, deep inside I knew I liked guys.

    Had a few girlfriends in college, just enough to keep any gay suspicions at bay. The rest of my adult life I had girlfriends on and off, even though I knew I liked guys. I was serious about one girl and we talked marriage. Like all my relationships, I sabotaged it; which in hindsight was a blessing. She is now out as a lesbian- we would have made one hell of a couple.

    Not quite a year ago (I’m 52) I was having a deep conversation with a friend. He talked about being bi and I let my defense down and said I was gay. His reaction was as if I told him I liked French fries; nothing. That ended the conversation and I was worried about what I said... small community and I couldn’t be out!!! I had a bad feeling based on his non-reaction. A few months later he told me (to me it was a threat) he was thinking of outing me. Why he would do this is a long story, but it pushed me into a deep depression. I tried to take my life this past fall, but thankfully wasn’t successful. I realized I had to do something about my sexuality or I would continue to be miserable. Even though I’ve never been with a guy, I know that’s what my heart desires... the signs were always there, I just buried them. Fitting in and being popular were much more important than being honest with myself.

    I came out to 3 female friends and my sister,in a van, in a Walmart parking lot. It would have been hilarious had I not been so distraught - I broke down and sobbed for an hour while I told them. I told them I had a secret that I had to tell and they would probably never speak to me again after they heard it. A friend thought I had killed my mother, at first, because my mother is crazy and a destructive force in my life. I said, “No, I’m gay.” It was so scary, emotional and funny all at once!!! They were all amazing! Since then I’ve told a little over a dozen people and they have been super. It wasn’t until last week I decided I needed a support group, because I still haven’t found a gay person to talk to. I want to find companionship, but I’m too scared to put myself out there. This site has been so inspiring to me because everyone has such a positive perspective.

    I don’t know about others, but I have known I was gay for a long time. I just couldn’t accept the fact I wasn’t straight because of society and the thought of letting down my family. It sounds stupid, but I just wanted to be like everyone else. Now that I have accepted I’m gay, I look forward to finding a guy I can finally love. Empty Closets has given me hope that a guy for me exists.

    That was a long-ass answer to a simple question, but I had to get my story off my chest. If I could give anyone advice it would be to be true to yourself- everything else will somehow fall into place. BTW, we are meeting in the Walmart parking lot on my 1-year “coming out” anniversary, I hope there is one more guy in the van.
     
  6. Quantumreality

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    Hey Dotwork,

    As a 52 year old Bi Guy, I consider it to 'simply' be all about whom you love. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    If you waste time worrying about what anyone else thinks or how others "judge" you, what is the point? Just be you!
     
  7. silverhalo

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    Hey I agree with quantumreality it's just about who your heart desires. Everything else is a complication of society.
     
  8. Limiteded

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    I’ve done a lot of research on sexual orientation lately. I’ve done all the serious online tests and read a lot of articles on the subject of “ how to tell if your husband/bf is gay”. A lot of the test results comeback to say mostly gay but some say bi. A lot of the signs that lean towards a spouse being gay I seem to inadvertently display. I would say I’m bi. I’ve not had a in person experience yet, only online. It’s been enough though to confirm a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like if I did meet the right man I could easily fall into a relationship and very well discover I’m gay.
     
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  9. BiBarefeet

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    That's similar to me really, the only difference is that I have been occasionally experimenting for the last 20 years, the last 5 years with discreet relationships. I'm still attracted to women, more physically and emotionally than sexually these days, which has been overtaken somewhat by my sexual interest in men. I have also conducted endless online tests, some of which confirm that I am bisexual but more skewed towards gay, predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual, or past heterosexual, currently homosexual. So it's what I feel about myself also...bi-gay but also fine with one or two the few close people I'm discreetly out to, referring to me as gay.
     
  10. Limiteded

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    Interesting...we seem to have a lot in common. I agree with you. No matter how many tests I take or what the outcome is I myself will ulltimatley determain what I am. Like you I’m only out to a few people, a couple of close bi female friends and one gay guy I used to work with.
     
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